Category Archives: Travel

A Taste of the Past: British Schools Museum, Hitchin

The Lancasterian Schoolroom

They say that schooldays are the best days of your life. Of course, that may be true for some, but I daresay for others the idea of going back to school is not a prospect to delight the heart. But there is one place that could just change your mind.

The British Schools Museum in Hitchin offers a unique insight into life at school in Victorian times. This gem of a museum is housed within historic school buildings dating back to 1837, and includes the only surviving school room built to the specifications of Joseph Lancaster. This forward-thinking educational philanthropist set himself the challenge of providing much-needed education for the poor children of the area, at a time when such ideas were almost unheard of. His solution to managing the difficulties of teaching 200 children in one room is a masterpiece of innovation, and you can get a taste of how it all worked (even down to practising your copperplate handwriting), as you tour the museum.